1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,106
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    So did my first spit shine. I think it's coming along well, but it's going to take a while to get a near mirror shine (2 hours?).

    Question: what to do over time. The wax layers will scuff etc. Do they need to be removed (stripped) if one is going to rewax? Then what is the remover of choice?

    Cheers.
     
  2. mw313

    mw313 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,426
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey/Philadelphia
    if you do it often enough, you should just be able to reapply the wax and that should help. I have applied extra cream polish first in one layer and then use more wax to build it back up.
     
  3. shoelover

    shoelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    374
    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Is it possible/smart to put a rubber toppy on used leather sole if it isn't very worn?
     
  4. wurger

    wurger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sydney
    

    Yes, cobblers do it all the time.
     
  5. striker

    striker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    It is in fact preferable.
     
  6. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,375
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    It looks like it. A well-lit close up of the toe creases would offer a more definitive view, but considering the apparent absence of small creases despite their being well-worn, I'd guess at a yes.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,215
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Not so much.

    Topy relies on cement to hold it in place. When the outsole is worn in an urban environment, in particular, grit and even industrial chemicals such as motor oil, etc., get driven into the leather...into the corium.

    Oils of any kind are a foil for the cement--never allowing it to fully cure.

    All of this must be removed in order to get a good, stable bond. This is almost always done with an abrasive of some sort--coarse sandpaper, IOW.

    The more that needs to be cleaned off the more damage is done to the balance of the shoe and to such incidentals as the thread that holds the outsole on the shoe. If a shoe has been worn for some time, the outsole will be thin in some places and almost the original thickness in others. Grinding away the outsole to create a clean surface, exacerbates the discrepancies of substance.

    Yes, it is possible to put Topy on an outsole at any time. But if you understand shoes and the physical properties and characteristics of the components that go into a shoe, as well as the mechanics of the foot, it's not always advisable.
     
  8. striker

    striker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Dear DWF, I have respected your opinions greatly but will offer in my defense my personal experience otherwise.

    I have had new shoes topied only to find that the shoe did not fit. Alot of times, a shoe's fit can only be determined when it has been worn a few times. Topying it new can be risky. Reselling topied shoes do not add value and it is hard to recover that cost. This is essentially money wasted.

    My own experience has told me that not topying first makes it easier to break into the shoes. The bending and creases from use makes it easier for the rubber to adhere without peeling later when one decides for it. Of course one could argue that peeling especially at the toe is a function of a cobbler's skill. Perhaps we are looking at a different timeline which explains our differing opinions. I have not found my outsole to be thin in certain places after a few weeks of use say less than 10 wears, likely due to my dainty gait. I also quite recently discovered the joys of combination of topy and flushed toe taps so even if the toe area wears away first very slightly has not been a problem for me.

    As you already are aware, regardless of whether a shoe has been worn or not, the surface of the outsole needs to be sanded or roughen to increase the surface area for the adhesive to stick to the topy. Assuming that one does not use the shoes for hiking, walking on granite/ stones or stepping on oily/ slick and wet surfaces. Those initial wears before topy likely help then hinder.
     
  9. Jurgis

    Jurgis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Location:
    The Mitten

    I don't think you two are necessarily disagreeing. I think we can all agree that topying a pair of new shoes that haven't been broken in/a verified "good fit" is risky. We can also all agree that soles need to be roughed up to accept the glue. DWFs point is that soles wear unevenly, so if you do this to well used soles, you may end up with thin spots and damage to the stitching -- not good. We can also all agree that anything that makes the glue not stick is bad. So yes, if you wear your shoes on clean areas a few times to break them in before topying, that's probably ideal. Just don't do it too many times, or in chemicals or oil. I suspect DWF is aesthetically against topying in the first place, being a custom maker. If you want rubber soles, buy rubber, don't topy leather. If you want leather, deal with its wear issues, and resole as necessary. Now that I've put words in the mouth of someone more expert than I, I'll shut up.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  10. mw313

    mw313 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,426
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey/Philadelphia
    good thoughts here.

    I agree in that if you like leather, get leather and deal with the work involved. almost all of my many shoes are leather soles of varying thickness. I have a few pairs with rubber soles like Dainite or Vibram but they were bought that way new to use in weather that may not be optimal for leather soles. I know that some people prefer the feel of rubber but in other cases, you could just buy leather soles and just walk outside in shoes/boots made for that and then switch into the proper shoes when in the office. Then you can get what you want right off the bat and don't have to worry about them.

    I don't like Topy in the first place, so that does bias me a bit. I only wear leather or rubber, but i also baby my dress shoes.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  11. akcafe

    akcafe New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    What can I do to restore these AE Cliftons? I've gotten the salt stains out by using water/vinegar and am now looking for opinions on what to do next.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  12. shoelover

    shoelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    374
    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Location:
    North Carolina





    Wow! Thanks for the great feedback. I have a pair of very old Sears "Gold Bond" (pre-Florsheim) shell cordovan PTBs that I want to make my rain shoes. They have the original leather soles with v-cleat heel. They are definitely worn, but without any heel or toe deformation. I want to throw a Topy on them and make them the shoes I throw on when the weather is frightful. My plan is that this will keep my newer, nicer cordovan looking great. Please advise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. JSO1

    JSO1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Took care of one of my favorite pairs today - my Allen Edmonds Walnut Shell Daltons. These are one of my more heavily worn pairs, so I felt they needed some TLC. They also have a few fairly large and prominent dry patches and areas of roughness, so I felt like they needed some nourishment. They also have a few small dark blue marks that bled from my UNIQLO selvedge raw denim jeans.

    First, I wet-brushed them: I got them very damp with a cloth, and while they were still wet, I brushed them until they were dry. This didn't really do much except clear off the dirt and dust and grime, and helped take out some of the denim bleed marks.

    Next, I put on a latex glove and applied healthy doses of Bick 4 all over the boots, including the bellowed tongues (and inside the crease that the bellows form). I got the boots fairly heavily moisturized with Bick 4, and then brushed them down until the Bick 4 was absorbed as much as it can be, especially in the dry spots. By this point, the boots had lost most of their natural shine and were fairly dull.

    Most of the nicks and scratches and dry spots were neutralized by the Bick 4 and the brushing, but I decided to apply some Alden tan paste wax, since they'd never been given any paste wax. The paste wax worked quite well and actually matched the color of the boots surprisingly well. I think it would work quite nicely on Ravello or Whiskey shell, too. I applied the paste wax sparingly, with a different latex glove, rubbed the wax to a dull surface all over the boots, and then brushed each boot for at least 5 minutes.

    Finally, I buffed each boot with a polishing cloth, paying special attention to the toe, heel, and vamp areas. I then applied Allen Edmonds Chili edge dressing, which worked quite nicely.

    All said and done, I'm quite impressed with how well it all worked. The dry spots/patches are nice and smooth now, the mottled patina is still present, but the boots have a nice luster and shine that's fairly tough for me to achieve using the usual methods.

    It's especially fun when you're dripping in sweat after giving a pair of shoes or boots some care.

    I don't have any before pics, but these are definitely the best they've looked yet.

    The first "after" image is without flash, and fairly accurately represents how they look in most situations, but since it's already dark outside I couldn't get a nice natural light shot. The second "after" image is with flash, just because I think they look cool with the flash since it really highlights the variation in the shell.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Chowkin

    Chowkin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I hate to disappoint you but the soles do not look like they are original ones but rather a half sole job. The stitches on the right side of the sole are quite worn down already and probably will come loose with the grinding required for the Topy.
     
  15. striker

    striker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    I would not recommend that in this instance. This would be too worn and I would take DW advise on this. Also Shell looks really bad after wet conditions, although the waterproofing quality remains.

    I use topies because half the time i cannot find a good cobbler to resole my shoes without sending them back to the original shoemaker. There are better shoes to use for inclement weather. Topies work if the floor is slightly slippery but if it is a downpour or heavy snow they actually making the leather "rot" from the inside. The sheet of rubber just mask it and the frightful weather will cause it to peel more quickly.

    If you wish to make it a rain shoe, i would just wear it as is and then get a dainite when you eventually resole them.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  16. rjonea

    rjonea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Just had my AE shell MacNeils re-soled:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Cleaned them with a damp washcloth. Will let them sit over night, brush them for a few min in the morning, hit them with a light coat of lexol conditioner then more brushing.
     
  17. Zapasman

    Zapasman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,115
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Location:
    España
    They look brand new to me?.
     
  18. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,692
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    London
  19. JSO1

    JSO1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    

    Thank you!
     
  20. grnfy

    grnfy Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Hi guys, I'm not sure if this belongs here but I recently bought a pair of lightly used Allen Edmonds Byrons off SF from a very nice seller.

    The shoes are great and in great condition, however, there is an abnormal creasing pattern on the left shoe which causes the leather to dig into the my foot when the shoe is flexed. This is only mildly uncomfortable, and I could probably live with it.

    Of course, I want to know if there is any way to fix this, and adjust the creasing of the leather back to normal.

    I have attached pictures of the shoes to illustrate the problem.

    Left (abnormal):
    [​IMG]

    Right (normal):
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by